Star of the Beach — Part 3
Miami Dan and The Hayes Street Band
“Miami Dan is a great guy, and I really had fun recording with him at Muscadine. I like his laid back style, and it was nice to finally get chance to sing with Probyn on a record.”
— David Marks
Q: What was it like working with Beach Boy David Marks?
Miami Dan: Well, I love the Beach Boys, so you can imagine what it was like for me being able to work with one of the originals. It was quite literally a dream come true. David Marks is a fantastic guitar player and I was blown away by his backing vocals on “Star of the Beach.” Muscadine is a 24-track studio and because of all the instrumental tracks Probyn had used in the production, we only had a few tracks left for the vocals.
Probyn wanted David and himself to each do three backing vocal parts in the block harmonies, but we didn’t have six tracks left and didn’t want to “bounce” any instrumental tracks so as to retain as much flexibility as possible in doing the mix. As a result, Probyn and Dave did their parts together simultaneously at one microphone. Having two vocal parts on the same track meant we wouldn’t be able to use any auto-tuning during the mixing process, but they both nailed their parts so well that none was needed. We were in Macon for two nights during the recording of the “Star” track and David entertained us both nights with stories of his early days with the Beach Boys. David’s wife, Carrie, had also made the trip, and the second night in Macon we went to a bar where my regular guitar player (Keith Williams) was playing, and the crowd was treated to a show that included both David and Probyn sitting in with Keith on some Beach Boys tunes as well as songs by other artists. Like Probyn, David also immediately had a connection with Paul Hornsby. They discovered they had run in the same circles in the L.A. music scene during the late 60’s when Paul was playing with the Hourglass band and David was going through his early post-Beach Boys period. Having a living surf music legend, a member of the Brian Wilson Band and a living southern rock legend work together on the same track made “Star of the Beach” one of the more unlikely collaborations of 2010, but I was beyond happy with the result. Working with Dave Marks was an experience that meant the world to me and it’s a memory I’ll always cherish.
Q: How did you come to decide on implementing David?
MD: It was really a matter of David deciding to accept my invitation to participate. I had finished reading The Lost Beach Boy and had met David and Carrie Marks a couple of times when David was playing Mayfest in North Myrtle Beach with Al Jardine, Dean Torrence and the Surf City All Stars, and had gotten to know them a little hanging out with them before those shows. I had also run into them at a couple of events sponsored by Endless Summer Quarterly that I had attended. When Probyn agreed to produce the title track, I started thinking it would be fantastic if I could get David Marks to play on the session as well, and thought the fact that Probyn would be producing might lend enough credibility to the project to get him to consider doing it. At first I was hesitant to ask, but got a little encouragement from you and Jez Graham, and decided to float the question. I sent them the demo and David agreed to make the trip to Macon.
Q: Talk about the experience of making a music video.
MD: It was a blast! I had shot some studio footage using my video recorder while we recording on “Star of The Beach,” but had intended for it simply to be a souvenir of the sessions for myself to keep. You and musician & photographer Dan Houck, had come down to my place in North Myrtle Beach to do a photo shoot for the album cover and Dan suggested shooting some footage for a possible music video. We shot all the beach footage in one day on Cherry Grove Beach, SC. Chris English worked with you and married the beach footage to the studio footage and spiced things up with some stock footage from old 60’s surf-related films and we put it on the enhanced CD as a bonus. I just thought both you and Chris did an outstanding job putting the thing together – and the fact that it was a fun day at the beach we were enjoying is reflected in the outcome.
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